June 14, 2023

Star-studded celebration

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As a result of a last-minute invitation where I stood in for a friend, I had the good fortune to attend a celebratory dinner tonight at Rùn (潤) at the St. Regis Hong Kong. The restaurant had recently been promoted to 2 stars in the latest Michelin Guide, and one of its biggest fans organized this dinner as a way to thank and congratulate team at the restaurant and the hotel - as well as raising funds for charities via a small wine auction. I had the honor to be seated at the table hosted by Dashijie (大師姐).

I was a little apprehensive, though, about attending the dinner tonight. Four years ago I had come here shortly after the restaurant's opening for a review with the Great One. It turned out to be a total disaster, and I haven't been back since. Foursheets did make a return visit a few months ago, and she won't be spending any more of her money there in the future.

So I kept an open mind and my mouth shut. I was, after all, a guest tonight. The menu had been pre-arranged for all the tables at the restaurant, along with wines paired with each course - starting from the canapés:

Smoked beancurd sheet, assorted vegetables (煙燻素鵝) - this was nice and smoky. Pretty tasty.

Deep-fried lobster pring rolls, seaweed (海苔龍蝦春卷)

2015 Roebuck Blanc de Noirs - a little bit of minerality with some acidity here.

Crispy suckling pig, caviar (黑魚子乳豬件) - the meat was very tender while the crackling was very crunch and flavorful. As usual I thought the caviar was completely unnecessary.

Marinated shredded fish maw, Sichuan style (麻辣花膠條) - about the same as my first visit.

Bernard Lonclas Blanc de Blancs, dégorgée le 14 novembre 2022 - floral on the nose, or was it the perfume from the room? Medium-bodied, kinda simple on the palate. Showed more sweetness on the palate with the spicy fish maw.

Double-boiled pork shin, silky fowl, sea conch (珍珠肉螺頭烏雞燉豬𦟌) - pretty nice.

2020 Domaine de Bila-Haut Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc - too over-ripe although there is still some acidity. Showing polyurethane and a little petrol.

Pan-seared lobster paste, Cognac, seafood sauce (龍蝦煎扒配干邑海鮮汁) - the western rock lobster from Australia came covered in a layer of lobster paste, and served with a sauce made with the lobster head and shells as well as vegetable and fruit stock.

The texture was pretty nice and springy, as one would expect.

2020 Bachelet-Monnot Santenay Blanc - nice and toasty, showing some coffee notes, and very savory on the nose. Lots of popcorn in the really big nose. Very nice.

Braised whole Yoshihama abalone, sea cucumber (蠔皇日本三十頭乾鮑伴遼參) - the flavors of the abalone were pretty strong, tasting of Asian spices. Nice to have spiny sea cucumber, too.

2019 Craggy Range Pinot Noir Te Muna Road Vineyard - very New World in style, showing lots of new wood with good amount of fruit. Fairly sharp on the nose.

Fried rice, dried sakura shrimp, mullet roe (櫻花蝦烏魚子炒飯) - don't think you can go wrong when you've got both dried mullet roe / bottarga (烏魚子) from Taiwan and sakura shrimp (桜海老) in fried rice. Very flavorful.

2019 Silver Heights Emma's Reserve, from magnum - very ripe fruit, with lots of forest, very heavy oak, very minty. Actually this was not too tannic for such a young wine.

Chilled pink guava cream, sago, coconut jelly (椰果石榴甘露) - nice flavors from the pink guava from Taiwan, although understandably the texture is a little grainy. Very refreshing.

Deep-fried sesame ball, milk custard (奶皇煎堆仔)

2018 Domaine de Souch Cuvée Domaine - good acidity but a little bitter.

Chinese petit fours (美點薈萃) - almond cookie with lime jelly.

This was a good opportunity for me to meet with old friends as well as get acquainted with new ones, and also gave me the chance to try chef Hung Chi-Kwong (洪志光)'s cuisine once more. Very grateful to Dashijie for the kind invitation.

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